Tag Archives: Fitbit

Fitbit: Sleep Tracking

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while are well aware that I suffer from insomnia.  Probably from squeezing so much awesome into all this plus sized cuteness, right?  In fact, I’m so awesome that I have to resort to prescription drugs to catch my z’s – but that’s another habit I hope to kick in 2013.  I think it’s reasonable to expect that once I start consistently shaking my moneymaker I’ll be a lot more tired at night…don’t you?

I’m using one of the coolest tools around to help me hit my 2013 goal of making exercise a consistent habit:  the Fitbit Ultra tracker.  If you’re not up to speed with this little badass bit of technological goodness, click here to read about my first experience with it.  One of the features of the Fitbit Ultra activity tracker is that it monitors your sleep.  I kid you not.

The technological geniuses over at Fitbit have several activity tracking devices to choose from.  Some offer more features than others, some are at a lower price point than others.  I have the Fitbit Ultra, which I recently purchased, but don’t see on their website, so I’ll have to ask them about that.  Stay tuned!!  I encourage you to check out their website for complete info on all the devices they have to offer.

The sleep tracking feature has been really interesting for me to play with – and I would imagine it could be very enlightening to some folks who might unknowingly suffer from sleep apnea and have no idea. It tracks how many times the user wakes up during the night.  I average around 11 times.  I have no idea if that’s normal, especially since I take medication to help me sleep, but I plan on sharing that information with my doctor the next time I see him just to make sure.

Likewise, I can imagine that the sleep tracking feature could be very enlightening for anyone who sleep walks and has no idea.  Like Hot Mess Hubby.  Seriously…he thought he was stumbling into the bathroom one night and peed on a ficus in our bedroom instead.  Try explaining that to the carpet cleaning guy.

To track my sleep, I just slip the Fitbit Ultra into a little slot on the wrist band that came with it.  (Normally during the day I keep Fitbit clipped to my bra.)  When I lurch out of bed the next morning, I log in to my Fitbit online account and enter the time I went to bed and the time I got out of bed. Simple.  Here’s what Fitbit had to say about last night’s sleep:











As you can see, it took me an hour and 11 minutes to fall asleep.  This is actually pretty accurate.  I was reading in bed last night.  Fitbit sensed that I was flipping pages on my Kindle (or petting Caesar the crabby tabby when he head-butts said Kindle).  Once I fell asleep, I awoke 8 times.

I don’t track my sleep every night.  Why?  I’m not sure why I should.  I guess I don’t understand the benefits of daily sleep tracking.  Maybe I’ll throw that in the email I send them about the Ultra.  I do find it useful, though, and I’ll definitely publish follow-up posts if I hear back from Fitbit – and when I discuss the 11 average wake-ups with my doctor.

Fitbit provides this answer on their website to the question “Why should I track my sleep?”

“Fitbit’s sleep tracking is based on research conducted by sleep labs. Following body movement during sleep provides a measurement of the quality of rest. Tossing and turning in one’s sleep, which can be detected by Fitbit Trackers, is indicative of restlessness.”

As I motor through 2013 on my way to a healthier, more active lifestyle I hope to ween myself off all sleep medications…and maybe I can put a dent in those wake-ups – although, according to Fitbit, I’m a fairly efficient sleeper.  Obviously, they’re not taking 130 pound half-wit dogs into account.








See, Dyson doesn’t like to be reminded that there are other dogs in the world. I left the tv on in the living room and got the bejesus scared out of me when he started barking like there was a serial killer on the front porch. Maybe Fitbit can come up with a dog collar that wirelessly connects to my Ultra tracker and shouts “No!” if I’m sleeping peacefully and he opens his doggy yap.

Hey, I can dream.

Have you been motivated to grab a Fitbit tracker because of this blog?  I’d love to hear what you have to say about your own experience.  Share your experience here!


Fitbit: the first impression

Hey y’all!

As you know, I’ve decided to make exercise a habit in 2013.  2012 was about getting the food demons in check, which I’ve done – so now I’m going after exercise.  Keep in mind, I have the same love for exercise as I do for the Taliban:  less than ZERO.  In many ways, I feel like this is going to be a bigger challenge than my food demons ever were…so I’m gathering all the tools I possible can.  Fitbit is one that I’ve decided to try (click here to read the original post about why I decided on Fitbit).

I’m still getting to know how it works, but so far I really like it.

Mine! All mine!!!













Here’s a quick run down:


Set up is pretty easy.  The packaging information gives you four steps to set up your device, including the set up of your free account on Fitbit’s website.  It took less than 15 minutes.

The online process for registering Fitbit is only 4 easy steps.



I bought the Fitbit Ultra, which is the one that monitors your sleep patterns and stairs climbed.  Normal retail price of this one is about $99, however I had a nice sized gift card thanks to my Best Buy Reward Zone membership…so I didn’t have to pay that much for mine.  Unlike BodyBugg, there no monthly fee to use this device.

The Fitbit Ultra packaging contains the Fitbit device, a belt clip, the usb charging cord and stand, and the wrist band you can use if you want to wear it for sleep monitoring.









It’s interesting to me how small the device is.  You can see here that it’s not even as big as a tube of lip balm. The device clamps onto whatever garment you want it to – even without the belt clip.  In my opinion, the device is snug enough on it’s own. Judge for yourself, though!

Smaller than a standard tube of lip balm…nice!

















After the set up process, I clipped it to my bra and immediately began wondering how it can the different between a step and just random movement.  How accurate is it?  How does it know?  I had to find out in my very non-scientific way, so I did what any non-scientist would do:  I shimmied my boobies like I haven’t shimmied in years, peeps.  I’m fairly certain I achieved some kind of seismic activity.  Then I reached down into my bra and hit the button on Fitbit that tells me how many steps I’ve taken.  0 steps.

Hmm…a good sign.  I couldn’t fake it out with my giant boob dance.  Cool.

(Oh, and I didn’t take pics of the scientific boob shimmy experiment.  You’re welcome.)


I went about my day, mostly unaware that the little thing was clipped to my bra.  You can’t feel it, it doesn’t interfere with anything.  (Boys, you can clip it to your waist band or belt – although, personally, I think y’all should have to wear underwire undies just to keep shit real between the genders, but whatever.  If you think underwire might be uncomfortable, just wuss out and put it on your waist or clip it to the front pocket of your pants.  Wherever you put it, make sure you push it all the way onto your garment and you should be fine…it’s got a pretty good grip.  Read the directions, use your best judgment.  I barely noticed it.

Any time I want to see how many steps I’ve taken, I just push the button on Fitbit and the display shows me the number.


Every once in a while, I would be back around my laptop and POOF my Fitbit would sync its data with the Fitbit website and my stats would update.  Syncing didn’t happen every single time, but it did happen throughout the day.  The online FAQ states that you should attach Fitbit to the charging cradle if you ever want to force a sync, which I did a few times the first day just because I wanted to see the update.  The nice thing is that you don’t have to force a sync in order for the device to update your online account.


The online account is free and there is no monthly charge.  Online, you’ll see the details of your activity – depending on which Fitbit device you have.  Here’s a snapshot of just a portion of my online account yesterday:


There are mobile apps for iPhone and Android users.  I downloaded the mobile app, thinking it would be handy to use when I’m away from the laptop for extended periods.  I thought that’s what it was for…but Fitbit surprised me again.

There I was, sitting on the couch a few hours before bed time, when my phone vibrates.  It was the Fitbit mobile app telling me “Almost there! You only have 287 more steps to take before hitting your goal today!!”

Seriously…eff’in awesome!  Nudge, nudge, nudge, Dianne…get up off your ass and take 287 more steps please.  And you know what?  I did.


Fitbit’s price is easier on the wallet.  Fitbit Ultra is $99.  Bodybugg is $119 and $149, depending on which model you get.  Also, Bodybugg doesn’t have a digital display, so if you want a display to see your steps, etc. then it’s another $50 and an extra device to wear (on your wrist…looks like an ugly black sports watch).  Fitbit has a less expensive model for $49 that counts steps, but doesn’t track sleep or stairs climbed.

Syncing is wireless with Fitbit.  My old Bodybug required a cable – although I believe they do have wireless syncing available now.

Unlike my old Bodybug, I can push a button on Fitbit and see how many steps I’ve taken.  My Bodybug had to be synced at the computer before I could see my steps.  As mentioned above, they have a wrist display that you can purchase separately…but Fitbit clips to your bra or your pocket and doesn’t require a wrist display.

There is no monthly fee required in order to sync my information to my account with Fitbit.  Bodybug requires a membership fee.  I do not like recurring charges of any kind and avoid them whenever I can.  I figure the less I spend on crap like that, the more designer handbags I can put in my inventory.  Priorities.  🙂

One last thing:  Fitbit is very affectionate.  I picked it up yesterday and it said “SMOOCHES” on the display.  Adorable!  I can always use more smooches.  It probably seems silly to some of you, but think about it this way:  I hate exercise with the fire of a thousand suns…and this little pro-exercise bugger got me to smile and take 287 extra steps.  Before Fitbit, I would have kept on sitting.

Future blog posts will include more detail on sleep tracking and other features – so if you’re thinking of buying one, you might want to stayed tuned for that.  For now, I can say that I’m a very happy girl.  My money was well spent.


** I have not been compensated by Fitbit in any way for this blog post – in fact, they don’t even know I exist.  This blog post contains my sincere opinions and experiences with the Fitbit device.  I think it’s important to confirm for you that my  purchase of the Fitbit tracker and my experience is my own…and that my opinion has not be swayed in any way by any kind of compensation from Fitbit.  (And if Fitbit ever happens to read this…you’re welcome for the free advertising.  LOL.)